Who better than Bloomberg Media – a publisher with “data in its DNA” – to tell you of the engagement opportunity ahead.
And perhaps none better than Julia Beizer – a former journalist who is now its chief product officer and global head of digital – to take you by the hand, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and lead you along that Yellow Brick Road.
Speaking during an INMA World Congress module on ‘navigating a cookieless future’, she told delegates that although change was coming and a bumpy year was ahead, “there is a real moment of opportunity for publishers to reclaim the value of premium content”.
She urged publishers to look ahead two years, and start from scratch to prepare for it, recalling the time Bloomberg – “a data company with the spirit and entrepreneurship of a tech company” – has spent identifying and getting to know its customers. Specifically, a site user it identifies as the ‘modern leader’, someone who might be interested in markets and finance, and quite likely an entrepreneur. But three times more likely to be both a corporate executive and a new parent, foodie, fashionista, green consumer and sports fan.
Bloomberg Media’s “biggest investment” in identifying and creating deeper connections, has been about content utility, most recently with Quicktake, a mobile-social-OTT-streaming “business network for the modern leader” which enables personalisation in a number of areas.
From the “data lake” Beizer came to in 2018, Bloomberg Media now has what she calls an Iris data ecosystem, covering behavioural, personal, research and contextual data, and built on the deeper relationship developed with its push on subscriptions. “It’s helped in a couple of ways,” she says, “with advertising clients, and to drive the subs business, the biggest beneficiary so far.”
Importantly, a ‘test and learn’ approach has helped from the start, saving more than $4 million a year in potentially mis-spent marketing.
About 20 KPIs are used to review ad products – including viewability, video completion, impressions, ‘in view’ rate, and share of attention. “We’re pulling great insights out of our data,” she says, with the opportunity to identify a contextual audience, and “early stage” machine learning is being added to help find the best audiences for an advertiser.
“We’re already getting a three-times increase in metrics from putting the right message in front of the right users. The cookie-less world is one more opportunity to get closer to our audience, and serve them better than anyone else.”
But with publishers’ needs “not necessarily aligned with those of marketers who are driving the conversation,” she says this is “the time to keep our hand on the rudder.
“Premium publishers have an opportunity to say, come with us because we know this audience best.”
Other speakers during the Tuesday morning (New York time) session included Aller Media data director Camilla Fuglem – calling in from a 10°C Norway – who explained how personal preferences were used to optimise its front page, from which more than 55 per cent of Dagbladet website traffic is derived.
“We cannot afford to waste space, so we have had to move away from fixed positions,” she says. Visitors to the site – the country’s second most popular – see content tailored to their interests and not that which they have already viewed.
Also contributing to a fact-filled morning were INMA’s Greg Piechota, Torstar chief data officer John Souleles, INMA executive director Earl Wilkinson, and Patrick Appel of presentation partner Piano.
The Congress sessions continue on Thursday.